Photo credit: Melissa Henrie
When an organization wants to put on an exciting event, Ryan Rock, owner of the new company Utah Bubble Balls, will often get a phone call.
“We get contacted by corporate events, partner with birthday party organizations…festivals. There are many groups who are interested in renting from us,” Rock said.
Although, Rock’s company doesn’t have a set location, he and his team have begun delivering bubble balls and hosting numerous events since last January.
Bubble ball participants get strapped into the center space of the ball, somewhat like an oversized life jacket, and get sent on their merry way. The experience is unique in that the wearer’s legs are free to move around. The ball even allows the wearer to fall to the ground with very little impact.
“The point is to basically knock people over,” Rock said. “The only thing is if the straps are too loose, people—particularly smaller people, such as females—they will sometimes slide out.”
Rock’s staff is always on hand for safety but have never had to administer any first-aid. In fact, the ease with which the wearer can get set off balance is all part of the fun.
“It very much levels the playing field between the sexes, Even the smallest female can completely off-set the balance of the biggest guy out there,” Rock said. “It’s hilarious.”
Rock explained that some people might be hesitant at first, not wanting to fall over or feel claustrophobic, but immediately after their first fall they realize it doesn’t hurt and end up having a ton of fun.
“Every time we’ve had an event, we’ve had a group come up with a new game,” said Rock.
Rock’s business all started when he saw a similar product featured on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Because he wanted to try it out for himself, Rock started looking up a manufacturer.
After falling in love with the product and finding out about the popularity of bubble ball soccer tournaments in Europe, Rock decided to start his own business and also recently had Utah Bubble Ball’s first all-day tournaments.
As far as launching one of the first businesses of it’s kind in the country, Rock was a bit unsure about its success. Luckily, Utah’s specific cultural interests have been an advantage.
“We are a little more inquisitive [in Utah]. There is a very outdoorsy culture here, and it takes a little bit of an adventurous spirit to try something like this. In Provo there’s a young college crowd that is interested in going out and trying new things.”
Additionally, Rock explained that utilizing social media resources to post bubble ball events on Facebook works when people “like” or comment on the videos and word spreads like “wildfire.”
“I think a lot of Mormons are into social media. A lot of the people that we schedule has been because they heard about it from someone else,” Rock said.
Although renting from Utah Bubble Balls cost a minimum of $200 for a two-hour session of renting 8 balls, they give each person who “likes” their page two dollars off.
Because a large group can be hosted with the minimum amount for a few hours, this discount can add up to a large amount and has also helped Rock’s business gain more traction in the community.
Those interested in booking Utah Bubble Balls can find more information at utahbubbleballs.com